Civil rights organizations are poised to file lawsuits over voting reforms that are expected to soon be signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott.
Among the first will be LULAC, the nation’s oldest and largest Latino organization.
Luis Vera, the group’s national counsel, said LULAC and other organizations will be filing lawsuits after SB1 is enacted, claiming the changes will violate the rights of Latino voters.
“We do not intend to take this lying down, period,” said Rodolfo Rosales Jr., of San Antonio, the LULAC state director.
Dr. Gregory Hudspeth, the local president of the NAACP, said, “We have not had that discussion yet about a lawsuit, but I’m sure that we’re not going to take anything off the table.”
He said, “What we’re watching here is an effort to limit the diversity of our elected bodies, to limit the diversity of the Texas legislature and to limit the diversity that we have in the United States Congress.”
Both said changes such as adding ID requirements to absentee voting, limiting early voting hours, and empowering partisan poll watchers, will make it harder to vote for minorities, seniors and people with disabilities.
However, in a statement, House Speaker Dade Phelan said the bill was “a significant step forward advancing the integrity of our elections.”
The text of the bill reads in part it was “enacted solely to prevent fraud in the electoral process and ensure that all legally cast ballots are counted.”
Having been passed by the Texas House late Thursday night, the legislation will go to the governor after any differences between the House and Senate are worked out and adopted.
Once enacted, the law would take effect September 1.